a look at the online world, and the challenges therein, through the eyes of a teenager

There is no avoiding social media in today’s society. Social media is always present; it is a part of everyday life. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are very popular in today’s culture. On Facebook, people can share what is going in their lives through statuses, pictures and more. On Twitter, people can “tweet” about anything they want. Instagram is popular for posting filtered pictures of themselves, their friends and other objects. Social media is a tremendous part of our world today. It can be challenging to represent yourself as a Christian and make the right decisions, while it is easy to follow the crowd and do what everyone else is doing.

The trends in social media often lead to negative and harmful ideas and behavior. It can  be difficult to represent yourself in a Christian manner. It is important to remind yourself of your Christian values as you participate in social media sites. Things such as bullying and swearing are very common. Sticking up for what you believe in and saying no to these negative ideas is critical. If someone is bullying through social media, you should stick up for the person getting bullied. Tell the initiator to stop bullying, but do it in a Christ-like manner. People will notice your positive reactions toward these negative situations and see Christ through your constructive actions. Also, bad language does not represent God well. Although others may be swearing and using inappropriate language does not make it right for you! Avoid foul language in your social media.

In addition, it is concerning how open teens are with their social media. It is crucial to not give out personal information through social media because anyone can see it. Even if you have a private account on Instagram or Twitter, someone can see it and give the valuable information away. They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and it really is. For example, I see numerous people post pictures of their drivers’ licenses on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. There is a lot of valuable information on a drivers’ license including one’s address, driver’s license number, date of birth, etc. I also notice an abundant amount of people give out their phone numbers. It is absolutely astounding how people trust their followers, friends and complete strangers with that information. Do not give out personal information over social media because only bad things can come from it!

It can be extremely challenging to do the right thing over social media. It is easy to fall into the trap of following the crowd. But since social media is a part of our everyday life, it is necessary to include your Christian values online. Represent yourself as a Christian over social media and make God proud.